Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 5/17/15
Recently it has been noticed that Wirt Walker, a 9/11-insider trading suspect who ran security for several of the impacted facilities, now works with men who were, prior to 9/11, key players in national defense and terrorism response. Given the role that Stratesec played and the relationships between suspects already revealed, this seems more than coincidental. Moreover, these men have top-secret clearances, which further suggests that Walker is a covert operative.
Walker, the son of a CIA and DIA man, was managing director for the Kuwait-American Corporation (KuwAm). This led to his management of Stratesec as well as other KuwAm subsidiaries that have surprising connections to 9/11. Stratesec had contracts to provide security services not only for the World Trade Center (WTC), but also for United Airlines, which owned two of the planes hijacked on 9/11, and Dulles Airport, where American Airlines Flight 77 took off that day.
Walker’s employee Barry McDaniel, the Chief Operating Officer of Stratesec, went from providing security at the WTC to starting a business with one of Dick Cheney’s closest colleagues. The fact that McDaniel is now working with an old partner of Cheney, who as vice president on 9/11 oversaw the failure of the nation’s defenses, raises many interesting questions.
The same kinds of questions can be asked about Walker’s current coworkers. Today, Walker runs Ecohawk Tech Services, an “applied technology company.” The company shares the same address in Leesburg, Virginia as… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 5/12/15
The media has taken an increasing interest in the 28 pages that were redacted from the 9/11 Joint Congressional Inquiry Report. The stories usually feature one of the Inquiry’s leaders, former Senator Bob Graham, who has claimed that the missing pages point to involvement of the government of Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi complicity is in no way surprising, facts that are often overlooked suggest that Graham’s actions may not be entirely straightforward. This leads independent researchers to raise concerns about his intentions and those concerns are justified.
To begin with, Graham never calls for release of other documents collected by the government’s 9/11 investigators, most of which are still held secret. That includes the majority of 9/11 Commission documents, of which only a fraction have been released—with much of the content redacted. The release of Commission documents is hindered by claims that they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) because they are congressional records. Nonetheless, the public deserves to see documents that might answer critical questions.
Moreover, Graham shows no interest in the many alarming facts about 9/11 that have been uncovered through released documents and videos. Some things that have been released via FOIA request are far more compelling than claims of Saudi financing. These include numerous testimonies to explosives being used to bring down the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings.
After a lawsuit by 9/11 victims’ families, the oral histories of the New… Continue reading
Originally published at Peaceful Tomorrows by Terry Greene and Gloria Williams on 4/30/15
As family members of those who died in the attacks launched on Sept. 11, 2001, we reflect on the recent MTA ruling to ban political advertisements on all MTA vehicles as an unfortunate sacrifice when a middle ground could have been forged.
Our families still mourn deeply the loss of our loved ones who perished on 9/11.
Our pain is compounded when some choose to respond in kind to that terrorist attack, and other attacks that have followed, by promoting hatred and fear of others who may be different from themselves. While we support the right to practice free speech, we abhor messages composed to incite bigotry and hatred.
Such messages seek to overturn the central tenets of America — a land founded to honor freedom of religion that is reliant upon principles rich with the ideas of life and liberty, tolerance and brotherhood.
The five-fold increase in hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims, or those who may appear to be Muslim, drives another… Continue reading
In 2002, the Sept. 11 victims’ families filed a lawsuit in federal court against the government of Saudi Arabia for their alleged role in funding and supporting al-Qaeda. The lawsuit floundered in 2013 amidst delays and a lack of substantial evidence, but new information has emerged that may resurrect the lawsuit.
Statements from former al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui suggest that members of the Saudi royal family had been major donors to the terrorist group as recently as the late 1990s.
Moussaoui gave his account last October to Jerry Goldman, a shareholder at Anderson Kill law firm and a lawyer for Sept. 11 victims’ families, and other lawyers from the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, where he is serving a life sentence.
“He has absolutely nothing to gain from this testimony, except for telling the truth,” says Goldman.
The Saudi government rejects Moussaoui’s 100-page testimony, which describes a close relationship between the government of Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda operatives who planned the 9/11 attacks. But Goldman says Moussaoui’s testimony fits within a broad historical pattern.
“The bad behavior that we allege of the Saudi royal family goes back a considerable period of time, and perhaps it’s still continuing,” he says. “That relevance is important, and most importantly, it’s relevance that the American people as a whole — not just the victims of 9/11 — need to understand what happened and [to know] that people are finally held accountable for the wrongs that they caused.”
In light… Continue reading
Originally published at the NYTimes by Lorie Van Auken and Mindy Kleinberg on 2/17/15
To the Editor:
New Light Cast on Secret Pages in Sept. 11 Report” (front page, Feb. 5) reiterates Senator Bob Graham’s finding from the Congressional Joint Inquiry: that the Saudis were tied to the funding of the 9/11 attacks. Philip D. Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, has tried to refute this.
Mr. Zelikow reportedly blocked two key staff members from reading the 28 classified pages. He even fired one of them, who tried to get access to the pages because she rightly felt that she couldn’t do her job without the information. This is hardly a recipe for forming convincing conclusions.
Bankrupting the terrorists would go a long way toward keeping all countries safe, yet the government is unwilling to expose the facts about the funding of Al Qaeda. Classification isn’t supposed to be used for keeping the secrets of a foreign government. With terrorism on the rise, wouldn’t it be appropriate for the American public finally to read those pages?
|LORIE VAN AUKEN||MINDY KLEINBERG|
J. Michael Springmann has just published, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World. As a former member of the US Foreign Service, Mr. Springmann exposes the truth about American involvement in the training and international movement of Muslim terrorists and the subsequent increase in jihadist terrorism. Some of these terrorists have links to 9/11.
Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price. While the US government claims to stand against terror, this same government refuses to acknowledge its role in creating what has become a deadly international quagmire. Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World sets the record straight by laying the blame on high-ranking US government officials.
During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda.
J. Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat, names individuals and organizations that deny culpability. He analyzes the effects of a nebulous war on the US economy and infrastructure. After thirteen bloody years, Springmann exposes hypocrisy and deceit wrapped in a sullied flag of patriotism and honor.
As investigative journalist Wayne Madsen notes,… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 2/15/15
Science has been misused for political purposes many times in history. However, the most glaring example of politically motivated pseudoscience—that employed by U.S. government scientists to explain the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC)—continues to be ignored by many scientists. As we pass the 10th anniversary of the introduction of that account, it is useful to review historic examples of fake science used for political purposes and the pattern that defines that abuse.
An early example of pseudoscience used to promote a political agenda was the concerted Soviet effort to contradict evolutionary theory and Mendelian inheritance. For nearly 45 years, the Soviet government used propaganda to foster unproven theories of agriculture promoted by its minister of agriculture, Trofim Lysenko. Scientists seeking favor with the Soviet hierarchy produced fake experimental data in support of Lysenko’s false claims. Scientific evidence from the fields of biology and genetics was banned in favor of educational programs that taught only Lysenkoism and many biologists and geneticists were executed or sent to labor camps. This propaganda-fueled program of anti-science continued for over forty years, until 1964, and spread to other countries including China.
In the 2010 book Merchants of Doubt, authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe several other examples of the misuse of science, spanning from the 1950s to the present. They show how widely respected scientists participated in clearly non-scientific efforts to promote the agendas of big business and big government.… Continue reading
Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.org by Russ Baker on 2/6/15
On Monday, attorneys representing victims of the 9/11 attacks filed papers alleging substantial Saudi financial support for Al Qaeda and terrorism, including a plan to shoot down Air Force One. This Saudi support supposedly continued up to shortly before 9/11. Donors included leading members of the royal family.
These extraordinary allegations came in rare testimony from behind the walls of a Supermax prison by the so-called “20th hijacker,” Zacharias Moussaoui, a convicted Al Qaeda operative.
The New York Times took him quite seriously:
Mr. Moussaoui’s testimony, if judged credible, provides new details of the extent and nature of that [Saudi] support in the pre-9/11 period. In more than 100 pages of testimony, filed in federal court in New York on Monday, he comes across as calm and largely coherent, though the plaintiffs’ lawyers questioning him do not challenge his statements.
One of the people Moussaoui says he met as an Al Qaeda representative was Prince Salman, who in January became the new king of Saudi Arabia. Others he claims to have met include Turki al-Faisal, who at the time was Saudi intelligence chief, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the longtime Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
Both Turki and Bandar were very close with George H.W. Bush and his family. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush was president of the United States—and in what was seemingly a chilling accident of fate, was in Sarasota himself… Continue reading
Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 2/9/15
NBC News anchor Brian Williams is taking heat for having repeatedly lied to the public about an Iraq War experience that he never had. Williams has decided to take a few days off to see if the whole affair will blow over but that strategy is not likely to work given the legs that the story has grown. There is a way for Williams to turn it all around, although it would be tougher than anything he has done in the past. He could save face by coming clean on something important that he once reported and never mentioned again.
On September 11, 2001, Williams was covering the terrorist attacks of the day. Late that afternoon a third skyscraper collapsed at the World Trade Center (WTC) and Williams interviewed a New York City fireman named David Restuccio about it. Just after the building collapsed, NBC broadcast the live scene as Williams remarked, “This is like watching the collapse of an active volcano. And the dust from it is not unlike that from a volcano.” He brought Restuccio on and continued, “You guys knew this was coming all day.” Restuccio replied, “We had heard reports that the building [WTC 7] was unstable and that it would be best if it would either come down on its own or it would be taken down.”
This was the point at which a good journalist would have stopped and asked, “It would be taken down”?… Continue reading
Originally published at Digital Journal by Ralph Lopez on 2/2/15
The official US government report on the attacks of September 11, 2001, has altered and obscured the testimony of US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta in a manner which absolves former Vice President Dick Cheney of failing to defend the Pentagon.
Mineta’s testimony suggested that Cheney had a clear window of opportunity during which he was made aware that an aircraft was headed straight for either the White House or the Pentagon, after it was clear that the nation was under attack, when he could have given an order and brought the plane down before it hit the Pentagon. The targeting of national landmarks such as the Twin Towers and the Pentagon was in integral part of the attackers’ strategy.
In an interview given after 9/11, President George W. Bush confirmed that he had given the order to shoot down any “commercial aircraft that did not respond” to requests for identification only after “the third plane had hit the Pentagon,” which was at 9:37a.m. Bush said that this was the “first decision” he made on Air Force One after the full extent of the attacks became apparent.
The Twin Towers had been hit earlier, at 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m.
Norman Mineta testified before the 9/11 Commission that, in the command bunker known as the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, hijacked… Continue reading
Originally published at Consensus 9/11 on 9/10/14
NORAD is the US-Canadian military agency responsible for defending North American airspace. Its traditional operating procedures – according to which planes are to be intercepted when they deviate from their courses, turn off their transponders, or permanently lose radio contact – were not followed on 9/11.
As the commander-in-chief of NORAD on 9/11, General Ralph E. “Ed” Eberhart was ultimately responsible for all of NORAD’s failures on 9/11 – most importantly, the failure to intercept hijacked airliners before they could strike the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The fourth airliner, UA 93, which was reportedly headed towards the nation’s capital, may have been shot down by NORAD, but NORAD has denied this. Accordingly, the official story about 9/11 is that NORAD was four-for-four in failing to intercept hijacked airliners that day.
Nevertheless, in spite of NORAD’s disastrous failures under General Eberhart’s leadership, he was never held accountable or even criticized. Indeed, he was promoted shortly after 9/11 and later called a “9/11 hero.”
Unlike others, such as Gen. Richard Myers and Gen. Henry Shelton, Eberhart has not written an account of his actions on 9/11. Likewise, he was seldom discussed by the 9/11 Commission. Accordingly, we do not know much about his actions that day. But enough has been said and reported by officials and the media to add up to an official story about his actions.
Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/14/15
Just before Christmas, former FBI special agent Mark Rossini greeted me with his usual good cheer when we met for drinks in a midtown Manhattan restaurant. He told me his life had finally taken a turn for the better. He’s spending most of his time in Switzerland, where he works for a private global corporate-security firm. “Life’s good,” he said.
Good, but with a few major changes. Rossini was drinking club soda instead of the expensive cabernets he quaffed when I first knew him as a high-flying FBI official in Washington a decade ago, when he was a special assistant to the bureau’s chief spokesman, John Miller (now with the New York City Police Department). “I’ve cut back,” he said. “Feeling good.”
But when I ask him how he’s really doing, the light in his eyes dims. “Well, you know, I still miss the job,” he said, shaking his head. A boneheaded move—showing confidential FBI documents to his actress-flame Linda Fiorentino, who said she was researching a script about L.A. wiretapper extraordinaire Anthony Pellicano—cost him his career in 2008 and nearly landed him in jail.
“What’s past is past,” he said. But not all of it. He quickly told me of an encounter the day before on a street in Yonkers, where he keeps an apartment. He’d run into a close family friend who’d lost relatives at the World Trade Center on 9/11. “Mark,” she… Continue reading
Originally published at The Profile by Susan Dugan, Jan. 2015 Issue
Right after 9/11, I remember talking to my women’s group and saying I just don’t think this could have happened without someone knowing about it and allowing it to,” says Fran Shure. “It was totally intuitive, because I knew nothing. And that was received with a lot of censoring remarks. I just looked at them and said, you know, I have the right to think the unthinkable and I’m going to look into this. And lo and behold, a video came my way and then a book and I was in shock, like most people would be, reading about evidence that showed we were not told the truth about what happened on 9/11.”
A retired psychotherapist and landscape designer who successfully juggled both professions for 30 years, Shure grew up in Texas and has spent most of her life in Colorado. The many causes she has championed include working for a freeze on nuclear weapons, the anti-globalization movement, and recently, the Colorado Community Rights Amendment allowing communities to exclude heavy industry (such as fracking) from their communities, due to deep concerns about fracking’s largely untested consequences for the environment. Initial doubts about what really happened on 9/11 and her subsequent inquiry ultimately spurred a kind of spiritual metamorphosis that continues to this day.
FRAN SHURE WAS IMMEDIATELY SKEPTICAL THE ATTACKS OF SEPT. 11, 2001 could have taken place without some sort of advance knowledge. After studying extensive… Continue reading
Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/7/15
Since the early days after the Sept. 11 attacks, when news emerged that most of the airline hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, dark allegations have lingered about official Saudi ties to the terrorists. Fueling the suspicions: 28 still-classified pages in a congressional inquiry on 9/11 that raise questions about Saudi financial support to the hijackers in the United States prior to the attacks.
Both the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have refused to declassify the pages on grounds of national security. But critics, including members of Congress who have read the pages in the tightly guarded, underground room in the Capitol where they are held, say national security has nothing to do with it. U.S. officials, they charge, are trying to hide the double game that Saudi Arabia has long played with Washington, as both a close ally and petri dish for the world’s most toxic brand of Islamic extremism.
One of the most prominent critics is former Florida Senator Bob Graham, a Democrat who co-chaired the joint investigation of the House and Senate intelligence committees into the Sept. 11 attacks. On Wednesday, in a press conference with two current members of Congress and representatives of families who lost loved ones in the attacks, he will once again urge the Obama administration to declassify the pages—a move the White House has previously rebuffed.
“There are a lot of rocks out there that have been purposefully tamped down, that if… Continue reading
Stand up and be counted: Make this one of your New Year’s resolutions. Revel in your courage to stand up for truth and justice and be counted.
If you have been paying attention to what is going on in this country, you know that the 9/11 attacks have been used again and again as the justification for policies that contradict core American values. Endless war, torture and warrantless surveillance do not reflect the values of the overwhelming majority of people who inhabit the land of the free and home of the brave. These policies echo the values of a morally bankrupt elite who control our governing institutions.
Our government repeatedly violates the self-evident truths expressed by our Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The contradiction between word and deed produces an intentional societal paralysis. Individuals feel helpless. Powerlessness and apathy make it possible for authoritarianism to flourish. Manufactured divisions obscure our common interests from ourselves, shifting our attention away from those who benefit and wield unchecked power.
If you have educated yourself about 9/11, you know that the issue tends to act as a portal through which you discover a hidden history. It is one of many rabbit holes that can lead to a re-evaluation of what passes for “history.”
911Truth.org has been educating the public about the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks for… Continue reading
Originally published at Mother Jones by Erika Eichelberger and AJ Vicens on 12/23/14
The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
The $1.6 trillion in war spending over that time span includes the cost of military operations, the training of security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, weapons maintenance, base support, reconstruction, embassy maintenance, foreign aid, and veterans’ medical care, as well as war-related intelligence operations not tracked by the Pentagon. The report tracks expenses through September, the end of the government’s 2014 fiscal year. Here’s a breakdown of where most of that money went:
How taxpayer dollars were spent on Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war-related activities
US military bases
The key factor determining the cost of war during a given period over the last 13 years has been the number of US troops deployed, according to the report. The number of troops in Afghanistan peaked in 2011, when 100,000 Americans were stationed there. The number of US armed forces in Iraq reached a high of about 170,000 in 2007.
Although Congress enacted across-the-board spending cuts in March… Continue reading
Originally published at the Lexington-Herald Reader by Paul Prather on 12/27/14
Fifty years from now, when a history of the 9/11 attacks can be written from a suitable distance, it probably will be observed that the chief damage done to this nation wasn’t the destruction of landmark buildings or even the loss of nearly 3,000 lives, but the further searing of our collective conscience.
We devolved from — in our own opinions, at least — the most civilized country on Earth, the chief guardians of human rights, to medieval torturers.
Earlier this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee finally released its report on the government’s use of systematic abuse against suspected terrorists, dozens of whom were later discovered to be innocent.
We’ve long known about Abu Ghraib, and about the Bush-Cheney White House memos declaring “enhanced interrogation techniques” lawful (although they violated 200-plus years of American precedents, as well as international laws we’d promoted).
Turns out the post-9/11 torture program went beyond anything we’d previously been told, both in scope and in sadism.
Yet it appears that, other than outraged op-eds here and there from squawking pundits, the collective American response has been a shrug of the shoulders.
In a CBS poll, almost half of us (49 percent) said techniques such as waterboarding are sometimes OK; only 36 percent said torture is never justifiable.
Some 73 percent of Republicans — hey, isn’t this the party with the devoutly Christian base? — think torturing prisoners can be justified.
Maybe we should survey… Continue reading
Originally published at Newsday by Ridgely Ochs on 12/27/14
Nell McCarthy, the deputy special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, pointed to two boxes. One contained files about 2 inches thick; the other, a file about 2 feet thick.
That, she said in the fund’s nondescript Washington, D.C., offices, showed the range of differences among claims filed by 9/11 responders.
The thinner file was submitted online by a former first responder in law enforcement who had hired an experienced lawyer. The second was filed by a former deliveryman for a restaurant — with no attorney — and included entire notebooks containing handwritten statements in nearly indecipherable block printing that often spilled over and encircled the pages.
Both received compensation, McCarthy said. But the first — who recently died of brain cancer — was a fairly straightforward case and it took eight months to determine his compensation. The second — who for a time called the VCF help line every day, even on the weekends — was not so straightforward. That claim took 2½ years to resolve.
“I am really proud of the work we did with him,” McCarthy said of the second claimant, who still calls the VCF.
McCarthy — a former White House staffer who herself… Continue reading